Experimentation & learning

Learning!

There's nothing like learning new things to blow away the cobwebs and get creative inspiration flowing. Between delivering refreshments to the sick (D and Mum now have that horrid lurgy) looking after the kids, and dodging April May showers, I've been practicing spinning and learning about wool.

UntitledAs part of last year's Campaign for Wool I was sent a free copy of the British Wool Marketing Board's book 'British Sheep & Wool' and, once the kids had marvelled over the different sheep, duly filed it on my bookshelf. This week it came into it's own. You see, something quite fascinating happened when a bag of Hilltop Cloud fiber arrived in the post, naturally coloured and smelling of animal - I had a real urge to know more about it and the animals it came from. The book is great for a summary of each breed, their origins, and details of the handle, colour, weight and staple length of the wool - which actually made sense as I've also been watching the (free) online course Know Your Wool.

If you're wondering what else is pictured, it's a spindle bag from the same vendor, perfect for storing spindle and fiber and for travelling - it has a bottle sewn inside the fabric to give added protection. (I love creative upcycling!) With all this to inspire me, I've practiced spindling for 15 minutes a day since Thursday, and it's getting better. Especially since my new bottom-whorl rainbow spindle arrived today from A Yarn Loving Mama. I much prefer this one - it spins for longer, is much more balanced and is just nicer to use. I'm still experimenting with different ways to draft and hold the fiber, but I think I can see some improvement in today's attempt - can't you?
Learning!
There is something quite exciting about the idea of making my own yarn - I can't wait until it's good enough to knit with. Oh and I think it could be quite addictive, I actually looked at the sky earlier and imagined drafting the clouds!

9 comments

  1. I'm so glad I'm not alone in my recent addiction. Are you impressed with that spindle bag. I looked at them and couldn't decide whether to get one or not. Does a whole braid fit inside?

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    1. For £10 I think it's a nice little bag - it had both those braids in it when it arrived (without a spindle, but that doesn't take up a huge space) and with one braid and spindle in there the spindle feels like it would be quite safe for everyday. Of course if it were likely to be subject to battering, a box would be better for transporting it, but I don't think that is necessary for me.

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  2. It certainly is addictive and has completely put me off shop bought yarn forever, I think! I was too tight to buy a spindle bag, so put a cutoff bottle into a slightly tarted up tesco wash bag that I use as a project bag. Not that I am swindling much now I have a wheel! Am too busy knitting the handspun!

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  3. Great post Sarah. So happy that spinning is being given the positive reportage it needs. Once you get the hang of it, it's soooo relaxing and therapeutic. And there's nothing quite like admiring your very own skein of handspun yarn ... as well as going on to knit or crochet with it ... such a great feeling.
    Also, thank you for featuring the spindle I made. I'm so pleased you like it and it does look as if it's helped your spinning. It's looking really good :)
    xx

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  4. Great progress, Sarah! I am hoping to take a class at Webs in July (thankfully, the Webs store is located very close to where my in-laws live) and decided tonight to "play" with my spindle and some roving and see what it felt like. After wrestling with the leader yarn for a good 10 minutes I almost decided to just wait until the class in July...but I tried a little bit more and managed to make some lumpy at first fiber and then get a bit nicer DK weightish yarn going. I'm still going to take the class in July but it was fun to try it out. It can definitely be frustrating, but I think in the end it will be sooo worth it :)

    I love your new spindle too! Very fab.

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  5. I think it looks really great. I admire you. I am looking forward to seeing you make something out of your spun wool.:)

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  6. Looking good, I keep meaning to look at that course too. :-)

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  7. I love the rainbow one it looks cute, and yes you can see the improvement in todays progress...well done :)

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  8. You make spinning look so fun. The fibers are so fluffy!

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